Hermann’s fell under new management Wednesday morning, after the resignation of one of the sibling owners of the club and its creative director. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Hermann’s Jazz Club part of family feud

Quick change in management occurs, future remains cloudy

A family feud at Hermann’s Jazz Club is leaving the iconic music hub’s future unknown.

The club was taken over from Hermann Nieweler by his three children, Stephan and Edward Nieweler and Ingrid Reid, after he passed away in 2015.

While management of the venue has switched back and forth between the siblings, Reid and the club’s creative director, Susan Joy, released a blanket statement to the club’s email list to say they had resigned their management positions effective Tuesday at midnight due to a “hostile takeover” from Reid’s brothers.

“Within the past month it has become hostile with the other two owners, who demanded our resignations,” Joy said. “Stephan and Edward were constantly berating Ingrid with emails to resign.”

Joy added that the brothers didn’t share the same vision for the club as herself and Reid.

The Nieweler brothers responded with a statement of their own, claiming that over a year ago the business was “forcibly taken over by the minority owner, Ingrid Reid … her husband Fraser and her associate Susan Sabanski (who refers to herself as Susan Joy) without permission of the majority ownership.”

The brothers claim that throughout this period, no financial records were provided to them, market rent wasn’t paid and no consultation was done around any of the business decisions.

RELATED: Nick LaRiviere shows going on as scheduled at Hermann’s

Reid and Joy gave notice July 20 of their intention to step down, which presented an “enormous challenge of taking over on four days notice,” the brothers stated.

The joint statement went on to say they will be spending the next couple weeks trying to determine the the exact state of the business, but that “in good faith… we will be honouring events booked at the club this weekend, and we endeavour to accommodate future bookings as we stabilize the operation.”

Joy said she and Reid share a passion for jazz and in the last year sales and attendance had increased along with the quality of shows. Joy noted that in their “shining hour” after the resignation, a single prospective donor came forward ready to invest in the business. A second investor has since emerged who is interested in helping the women buy out the brothers.

“What we want to do is procure the entire building,” Joy said. “We want it to be Hermann’s Live on Vie; we want the jazz club, the playhouse, now known as the View Street Social.”

When asked if she believes the brothers would sell to them, Joy sounded hopeful.

“I believe so, they just want to sell it anyways.”

While a price hasn’t been determined, the family had considered selling the building for $3 million to the Jazz on View Society in 2017. The non-profit group undertook a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money, but fell well short of the total needed.

For the most recent updates, you can head to hermannsjazz.com.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Just Posted

MOVIE MONDAY: Wartime film treat scheduled this week

Classic German film Das Boot part of a busy November and December at Fort Street film hub

REVIEW: Chase away the November blues at The Phoenix Theatre

Guest director Jacques Lemay and The Drowsy Chaperone offer breezy fun at UVic

Giving back builds a strong community in Victoria

National Philanthropy Day celebrates individuals, groups for their significant contributions

REVIEW: A definitive armistice story at Langham Court

Production of Goodnight Mister Tom hits the mark with believable story, characters

‘Tis the season for family musical theatre in Saanich

Four Seasons presents The Vault Brothers’ Show at Claremont’s Ridge Theatre

REVIEW: Belfry’s latest offering leaves bad taste in the mouth

Mustard loud and overbearing, ruins good story bones, writes reviewer Sheila Martindale

HarbourCats nail down 2019 West Coast League baseball schedule

Another busy summer planned for Victoria’s collegiate level ballclub

ON FOOD: Tiny dinette offering full cheesy goodness

Ruth and Dean impress Monday reviewer Allan Reid with their culinary creativity

Most Read